Kale salad is not something I ever would have predicted would become a big part of my diet. Not because I didn’t like it. I just had never had it until several years ago. But then the great kale craze of the 2000s hit, and I never recovered. I probably make kale salads at least once every week or two, and I’m definitely not burned out on the leafy greens. So here’s one of my favorite kale salads, with avocado chipotle dressing.
I actually made this kale salad years ago for some relatives visiting from the Midwest, which I guess hadn’t gone full crazy for kale yet. They liked it so much that they asked for the recipe, and I got reports that my aunt regularly made it for her kids. If it can trick children into enjoying kale, it must be good.
For prepping my kale, I use one of these herb strippers, which is a handy little tool that makes the job a bit faster. You just stick the end of the stem through one of the holes, and pull until the thick, tough part of the stem is separated from the leaf.
If you’ve never massaged kale before, my Thai peanut kale salad recipe has before and after photos. I actually never measure the salt anymore, I just sprinkle it on, massage, and repeat until the kale is softened.
Kale Salad with Avocado Chipotle Dressing
2 bunches kale
1-2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (about half of a pint)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 medium avocado, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-3 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt (less if using regular soy sauce)
Remove the stems and then cut or tear the kale into small pieces. Place into a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and massage the kale until it wilts and darkens in color.
Blend dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy. If the dressing is too thick, thin with additional water. Pour over the kale and mix to coat. Toss in the tomatoes.
Sprinkle with sunflower seeds before serving.